Column attacking climate change full of hot air

Donnie Johnston’s recent column [“More hot air won’t solve climate change issue”] was more hot air than enlightenment. He and his fellow science skeptics lose credibility when their arguments are uninformed, hyperbolic or both, which was the case here.

His argument that climate change has been ongoing since the formation of the earth is an undisputed truism and unrelated to the current debate.



Since the invention of the combustible engine, human activity has greatly contributed to the degradation of our environment and to the warming of the planet. Scientists have not said there would be “more” hurricanes; they said they and other weather events would be more severe.

It’s hard to argue that their predictions are wrong with all the empirical evidence to the contrary. We deny the science at our peril.

And yes, humans are willing to do something about it. At least those who acknowledge the problem, like Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Mr. Johnston incorrectly stated that she “obviously flew to New York in a jet plane that uses oil and produces carbon emissions when she could have paddled across the Atlantic in a canoe to lower her carbon footprint.” His snarkiness aside, Ms. Thunberg took a solar-powered sailboat across the Atlantic.

His absurd hyperbole continued with the suggestion that we should criminalize births or force sterilization to reduce the number of people on the planet. In making arguments like this, Mr. Johnston contributes to the toxic discourse that passes for debate these days. Instead of retreating to our corners, each sure of our own views, we could acknowledge that we have a problem, come together and adopt reasonable measures to address climate change.

Even if we are not on the brink of extinction, rolling the dice on science skeptics being right is not a risk I want to take.

Judd Horbaly

Montross

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